MPIP: Melanoma Patients Information Page

The MPIP is the oldest and largest community of people affected by melanoma hosted through the Melanoma Research Foundation. It is designed to provide support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. Once you have been touched by melanoma—either as a patient or as a family member or friend of a patient—you become part of a community. It is not a community anyone joins willingly. But if you must be part of this group, you will find no better place to find the tools you need in your journey with this cancer, and the friends who can make that journey more bearable.

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Just wondering if anyone has had to deal with high ammonia levels. My dads in the hospital now because he is so confused and disoriented. Just looking for some guidance.

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liberty04281's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 10:07pm
Replies by: arthurjedi007

I finished Yervoy treatment at the beginning of April. I had scans every two months. Last scan was on Saturday and I saw my oncologist today. Lung nodules shrunk after the treatment, but there are a few very small left after the treatment. This is my third scan after I finished the treatment, and all scans so far are stable. My oncologist said it is very good, and my next scan is in three months. I do not know what to think.

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I have not been on these boards in years--but am back with a new concern.  Its beginning to look like every 4 years when this begins to fade something resurfaces to remind me...I aint in control.  Perhaps this post is more the cathartic need to write out my concerns hoping that another has been down this road before than any practical help at this point.

I have been diagnosed twice with stage 1 melanomas (2007 and 2011) on different sites; Plus 5 major dysplastic exisicions; 3 minors and countless biopsies over these past 8 years, I have sadly become numb and routine to these procedures.  However, always grateful how "minor" the melanomas were and straightforwad the treamtent plans (my prayers to those who have far more severe melanomas).

But now that we have basically run out of moles on the skin to biopsy, my eye doctor did the old "hmmmmmm" while giving me my annual exam.  She then said there is a small choroidal nevus that needs to be looked at in 2-3 months to see if there is any change.

Highly likely its just a freckle...but the old anxiety of "have they found something" was reawaken.  Not to mention the fact that this one is in my eyeball so I cannot obsessively watch over these 3 months.

So wondering if there are others who may tend towards a dysplasia nevus syndrome every gotten one in the eyeball?  Since they cannot biopsy (can they?) an eyeball freckle to figure out what it is, what can be done?


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Millykamp's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 3:55pm
Replies by: Millykamp, Anonymous, jpg, BrianP, geriakt

so I got my report back on my SLNB and just need someone to explain it to me. 

Sentinel lymph node #1, left axilla, biopsy: One lymph node positive for

metastatic melanoma (1/1)

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy 

Body site: Left Axilla

SLN: #1



Diagnoisis: yes

H and E: : positive 

S-100: positive 

Melan-A: positive 

Location of metastatic tumor: Subcapsular
Extracapsular extension: Absent
Benign nodal nevus: Absent


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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 12:42pm
Replies by: BrianP, Anonymous



Has anyone used this drug and what have you heard about this treatment?  I am going to see a Doctor who has tried this vaccine on patients and I don't know much about it.  

I believe this is an alternative option for Stage III Melanoma.


Thanks for any input.


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gm77's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 10:33am
Replies by: fortiz, kylez, Anonymous

Hello everyone,

my father (age 69) is currently been treated in Milan, Italy for metastatic melanoma with brain metastasis.  He has been on trial NCT02039947 ("Study to Evaluate Treatment of Dabrafenib Plus Trametinib in Subjects With BRAF Mutation-Positive Melanoma That Has Metastasized to the Brain") since January. Back then he had 3 brain mets, and many (non-countable in scans) and growing in lungs, kidneys and bowel. He had a great response: all metastasis gone from bowel, only one brain met left but now point-like, and only two small ones in the lungs (but stable since March). We are very HAPPY about the results also because he has no side effects, and is able to have a very good quality of life, including going to the gym and lap swimming 3 times a week.

Starting on month 10, the trial wants him to have scans (full body cat scan and brain MRI) monthly instead of every two months, as he has done so far. I guess it's because around this time many people on BRAF-MEK inhibitors see mets growing again since tumor develops resistance. We clearly want to stay in the trial as long as there is response, but I was wondering whether having a full body CAT scan and a brain MRI every single month is an overkill. 

Does anybody who has been on BRAF/MEK inhibitors have any experience on that? What was your scan frequency around and after month 10?

Thanks everyone in advance, and let me express my gratitude for your contributions to this forum: it is a constant source of inspiration for all of us who are living through this experience.



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ashleyc's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 5:04pm

My father was diagnosed with mucosal melanoma of the nasal cavity in 2010. He was treated with surgery and radiation and had remained NED until two weeks ago where they found a recurrence further back in the nasal cavity. ENT is doing BRAF testing but its taking an extremely long time to get the results. He also referred him to Moores Cancer Center since we live in San Diego California but we couldn't get an appointment until the end of this month. Feeling hopeless waiting around with no plan and no answers. Any advice including of places where to seek out treatment would be appreciated. 

Thank you concerned daughter, 


ashley chavez

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Daisyduke's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 10/5/2015 - 10:14pm
Replies by: Patina, Linny, Anonymous

Can anyone recommend any medical clinics or specialists for a 2nd Opinion?  How do you get on Yervoy and does Insurance cover it?  What about  Watch and Wait.  I believe I am at III A or III B.


I need to make some decisions soon before my followup appointment.  I do not want to go on Interferon!!!!!

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 7:00am
Replies by: Kim K

Anyone have BRAF testing done in stage 3 (we are stage 3b w/local recurrence)?  We are having difficulties getting insurance to cover.  I think it's very important to know as soon as possible.  And it would also be helpful as we decide on doing a study, etc now.  Any ideas, tips, etc you have would be wonderful.  Thank you!


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I just started the Clinical Study NCT02388906.  I am stage IIIB and this trial is for either Yervoy or Opdivo with placebo for stage IIIB and above full resection of lymph nodes. 

I was told when I signed up for the study that BMS (the sponser) would cover all treatment costs that are directly related to the study and I would be responsible to pay for all "Standard of Care" for my diagnosis. 

I have had 3 infusions so far and it turns out I was billed for everything but the drugs.  Is there anyone else on this study and what were you billed for?

I would like to email privately about this to compare but I have been billed for all CT scans, all infusions (Chemo room) and all DR visits to have the DR sign off on my labs to get the infusion.  The only thing I was not billed for was the drugs.

I have to question how they can charge me for infusions since almost half can be a placebo? 

You can PM me directly.


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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 7:05am
Replies by: Kim K, Anonymous

Has anyone used the Family Medical Leave Act protocol to go on short term disability at 60% of salary and also used their Social Security disability at the same time? Is that allowed (from what I can tell, I think it is but am not sure)? The SS process seems really complicated, but I am about to start treatment for stage 4 melanoma (I am post op and scans are done) and just want to know all the options before I start. 


Christine P. 

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Daisyduke's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 11:27am
Replies by: nlac26, Anonymous, Daisyduke, jpg, geriakt

I have read about all of the side effects that go along with Interferon, what I don't know is what to expect  daily?  Do you feel the side effects for the duration you are on it or are there days that it subsides.  So do you have good days and bad days?


I have read that once you get past  the IV Injections and you go to Home Injections it gets more tolerable. Am I getting this wrong?  Are you able to work?


I know everyone is different but I don't know what to expect.  I know that any time on Interferon is better than going without.  I have also heard that taking it at bedtime helps.


I am going to see my Oncologist this week to discuss my treatment options whether it be Watch and Wait or Interferon and of course I am confused and scared,


Thanks for any input.



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Anonymous's picture
Replies 0

Has any one started feeling better after nivo/Ipi 

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 10/4/2015 - 1:49pm
Replies by: Patina

Hi I'm 27 years old and when I was a kid I got badly burned in the sun and ever since had a mole on my back it had alway been small and my mum did take me to my doctor to have it looked at and he said it was fine but if it changed come back I can't remember a lot of this as I said I was a young boy now at the age ov 27 I can alway remember having this particular mole and have noticed it changing over the years growing up as a teenager through school and all through my 20s I know I haven't had it looked at since I was four from what my mum tells me but she is now very concerned as she noticed it last week and she told me that a doctor told her I would have a really high risk ov devolving skin cancer and to watch the mole very carefully which she has said both her and my dad were keeping an eye on it looking for changes and as it didn't over a year they stopped I grew up and they hadn't really thought about it it's 1inch wide and 3 quarters  ov an inch tall it has three different shades of brown it has a rugged edging and surrounding like in island surrounded in sand but not if you get what I mean and in the last 4 months been itching like hell any advise please 

Christopher Mclear 

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Coneflowers's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 5:02pm
Replies by: ldub, Coneflowers, kylez, Kim K, Anonymous, Fen

So I have been trying to sign up on here for what seems like forever! Not sure why I was having problems...maybe it was my old computer.  Anyway, was wondering if anyone can recommend a pediatric melanoma specialist?  Yes, have more questons, but will start with this...Thank you!

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